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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / December 18.
  • Big East Notes: Hazell, Rosario, Marquette; Daryus Quarles to St. Joe's

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    I’m headed down to the Syracuse-Villanova game today at the Wachovia Center which should be a good one. Noon tilt on ESPN.

    In the meantime, here’s a few quick notes:

    HAZELL NOT THINKING NBA

    I was going to do a feature in advance of tomorrow’s Seton Hall-Rutgers game on Jeremy Hazell and his future plans, but for some reason my tape recorder was on the fritz after the Pirates beat St. John’s 91-81 Thursday night. Anyway, I spent several minutes talking to Jeremy Hazell after he dropped in 31 points in that game and the long and short of it is that he’s not thinking about the NBA. Hazell, who ranks 2nd in the Big East and 8th in Division in scoring at 23.4 ppg, said he plans to remain at Seton Hall for all four years trying to help the team improve, and that hopefully he could play in the Association after that. His stock is increasingly on the rise this year as he proves to be not only a tremendous outside shooter, but a versatile player who can create off the dribble as well. He needs to work on his defensive skills, but at 6-5, he has the length to defend. Good news for Pirates fans. If this guy is this good right now as a sophomore, how great can he be over the next two years?

    ROSARIO, ECHENIQUE WORKING HARD

    The other night I left the RAC at about 10:30 p.m. after St. Patrick was done hammering St. Benedict’s and three players were still on the floor. One was Mike Rosario, who had sat in the front row for the game next to Freddie Hill, and was now shooting free throws all by his lonesome on one end of the floor. On the other end, Greg Echenique, who was part of an imposing front line at St. Ben’s last season that also included current Louisville frosh Samardo Samuels, was rebounding for Steve Frankoski, a current St. Ben’s guard. ..So the gym was just about empty and Rosario and Echenique were still inside working on their games.  That’s all you need to know about those two guys. Rutgers needs more players like them in the years to come.

    SOUTH FLORIDA UPSETS MARQUETTE

    Jesus Verdejo scored 21 points and Dominique Jones made a driving layup to put South Florida ahead with 15.9 seconds to go, and South Florida beat No. 8 Marquette 57-56 Friday night.

    It was South Florida’s first win over an opponent ranked in the Top 10. The victory ended Marquette’s 12-game winning streak and left the Big East without an unbeaten team in league play.

    Jerel McNeal led Marquette (20-3, 9-1) with 22 points before fouling out in the final minute.

    Just goes to show you that anything can happen on a given night in this league.

    There’s still hope for DePaul.

    DARYUS QUARLES TO ST. JOE’S

    Daryus Quarles, a 6-6 junior wing out of Burlington (NJ) Life Center, has given a verbal commitment to St. Joe’s.

    “I was surprised and happy at the same time,” Life Center coach Wilson Arroyo said by phone. “We weren’t anticipating him verballing anywhere until after the AAU season but he just felt that that was the right choice for him.

    “He chose St. Joe’s because of proximity to home. He respects Phil Martelli a lot. They’ve showed interest in him since the 9th grade and have been recruiting him since then as much as NCAA rules allowed.”

    Quarles, who transferred from Paulsboro (N.J.) High after averaging 17.2 points his sophomore season, chose the A-10 school over a slew of Big East and high-major offers.

    “He had pending offers from Syracuse, West Virginia, Seton Hall, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Nebraska and a bunch of others,” Arroyo said.

    Arroyo said Quarles, who is averaging 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks, should be an impact player at the next level.

    “I believe he should be playing the wing position,” the coach said. “He’s more of a guard player even though he’s 6-6.”

    Arroyo said Quarles is on pace to graduate and to qualify academically.

    (AP contributed)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.